The March issue of our Amazon #1 magazine!
In this issue…
• An exclusive interview with Terry Deary, bestselling author of the ‘Horrible Histories’
• Our new series of travel features, Off the Beaten Track
• How to start your own small business
• How to learn a new language
• The difference between psychology and
psychiatry, and so much more…
I’m happy to be a member of this fast growing group, and wanted to introduce to the organization and one of its founders, Hannah Howe.
Hannah Howe writes psychological and historical mysteries. Her books can be found at over 300 outlets worldwide. Her novels have reached number one numerous times on the Amazon charts and her book, Saving Grace, a Victorian mystery was a bestseller in Australia this summer. With all of this activity, Howe found time to co-found the new magazine — Mom’s Favorite Reads.
What is Mom’s Favorite Reads? It’s a community of book lovers which produces a quarterly book catalogue, featuring over 400 books, and a monthly magazine. The magazines, available as eBooks, in print and audiobooks, have topped the Amazon Contemporary Women charts, the Seasonal charts and the Graphic Novel charts in America, Australia, Britain and Canada. Alongside leading independent authors our magazines also feature contributions from high profile mainstream authors. For example, in the new year the magazine will feature exclusive interviews with a Dr Who screenwriter, an expert on Sherlock Holmes and Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories, one of the most popular series in the history of publishing.
Also, in 2019, the plan is to develop the community to support literacy amongst adults and children. One of the ways we will do this is by offering schools, societies and literacy projects bundles of free books.
If you are an author, you are welcome to join Mom’s Favorite Reads. If you are a reader, please visit our website and check out our video, book catalogue and magazines https://moms-favorite-reads.com
If you would like us to support a literacy project, please email Hannah Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will explore the possibility of supporting your project.
It is those quirky differences which make humans so interesting. Jane Austen had a knack at finding the humorous in her interactions with her neighbors and acquaintances that she later immortalized in print. The outrageous, bizarre and laugh-out-loud hilarious moments are the stuff of writers’ dreams.
I’m an odd duck. Always a bit nerdy, I loved school, reading and history. In elementary school, I read every biography of the founding fathers of the United States. They were my heroes. I loved playing “Landslide” — a board game about U.S. Presidential Elections where you collected Electoral College votes to win the Presidency. How many ten to eleven-year-old girls today would find that game captivating?
I asked for a globe for Christmas one year and on my bedroom wall, I had a poster of the universe. I would force my younger sisters to sit through my rendition of the Catholic mass or would drill them as their teacher using old school books of my mother’s from her youth. (I wonder what happened to them?)
I had a rock collection when I was young and kept it in an empty cardboard egg carton. Way before Indiana Jones had youngsters wanting to be an archeologist, I wanted to explore ancient ruins for artifacts. I also wanted to be a pop singer, Peace Corps volunteer and a nun. I ended up being a nurse, an Army Reserve officer, a bed & breakfast owner, and an indie writer, go figure.
We all have our stories about our youthful fascinations and dreams. They are the very things which mold us into the individuals we are today. What were yours? Did you follow through on your dreams?
OMG! Will this woman ever stay on a topic — like writing? Or living in a small town?
Nope. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am a flitter. I flit from one topic to another in conversation, linking thoughts in my head which no one else sees as being at all related to the discussion at hand. It is also not so out of the norm for me to write about inanimate equipment that I love (remember my love affair with my kitchen faucet or my romance with my commercial-grade floor buffer?) That being said, it does make sense for me to write about my Fitbit, because it has become a part of my daily routine which includes writing tales of mystery, suspense and on occasion — romance.
So, what do I love about my Fitbit? Well, the first thing is that it wakes me up every morning at 6:30 am with its vibrating buzz on my arm. Without it, I would sleep too long and wake up grumpy because I overslept. It gets my butt up out of the chair while I’m writing, so I can take a stroll outside or around the house to keep my blood flowing.
Some of my best story ideas come to me while I’m exercising. It’s a form of meditation for me, and my Fitbit helps keep me on target each day. When I find writing to be difficult, the band on my wrist provides me with the solace of knowing I have accomplished something today, even if it’s only a specific number of steps and active minutes.
It is strange to think how a watch has become such an essential part of my day. In fact, I resisted purchasing one while others were singing praises about theirs. I thought I didn’t really need to count steps because I was already using an application on my phone to track my workouts. Strange to think that something I felt I didn’t need has become such a part of who I am in the past year.
What I love most about this little black band is that it has kept me goal-oriented throughout the year. Exercise helps to keep my mood light so I can smile in all those selfies I post online. LOL! It has helped me drop another size in clothing, and boy, do I love that!
So to celebrate I have ordered some different colored wristbands for my little motivator. I’ve stuck with basic utilitarian black since I got it Christmas of 2017. In 2019, we are going to be styling.
Dog Lover. I like to think I am.
Today I’m not so sure. My grandpuppy (a full-grown 100 lb. Lab) arrived yesterday for a long visit, and by long, I mean a two-month visit. My house was almost a dog hair-free zone prior to the visit. Once in a great while, I will find a little memento of his last visit. Please don’t judge my housekeeping skills, LOL! Remember, I’m a writer.
To give you a little background info, this beautiful pooch had lived with us for the first two years of his life. During those two years, my life revolved around my Labbie and my writing. My husband needed to understand, I had my priorities. The poor guy…
But the last two years have been pretty much pet-free except for periodic visits by my son and his dog. I’d gotten used to being on my own each day. My focus was on my agenda, so my To-Do List for today included advertising for my books and the continued promotion of my latest published book, Never Show Your Hand. Also, NaNoWriMo is happening and I need to write!
What my schedule has been thus far?????
- Wake up at 7 am
- Quickly dress, wash my face and brush my teeth
- Walk dog on slippery sidewalks and in circles around every interesting scent trail he can find
- Breakfast as the dog sits by my side hoping I drop something
- A five-minute phone call to my mom as the dog barks and whines nearby
- Snack time for “Fido”
- A few quick Facebook posts and Instagram posts (Yay!)
- Letting the dog out as I try to sweep the kitchen floor and clean up after breakfast
- Proceed to untangle the dog’s lead from a tree in the yard
- Return inside to finish sweeping the kitchen floor
- Have to return outside to untangle the dog’s lead from a different tree in the yard
Needless to say, we are still getting used to being around each other. It will settle down in a few days as he adjusts to his new environment. As I gaze at my furbaby sleeping peacefully in an armchair across from me, my smile is so big it almost makes my face hurt.
Time to get my writing done! TTYL, everyone!
Whenever things seem to be going amazingly well something happens to put your feet back on the ground. It never fails, and I believe it is the universe keeping everything in balance. Call it karma or the biblical “pride cometh before a fall”, but either way, life has its ups and downs. I’ve been on the roller coaster ride of life this summer. Good times and sad ones have been mixed with moments of triumph.
My third book is coming along, and I hope to reach a point where I can publish it this fall. It will the end of a trilogy. My first, but hopefully not the last one I will write. My goal to work out regularly has been interrupted at times but I’ve managed to still work out at least three times each week.
Then there was Tuesday. I got up, threw on my workout clothes, and headed out the door. I was going to put in some miles. Turned on my tunes and started walking down the sidewalk with my ponytail bouncing to the beat. Unfortunately, the music was fading in and out with each step. I reached for my iPhone and the universe decided to take my high spiritedness and level it out…
Sometimes you eat concrete.
Miss Lydia watched the woman running down her sidewalk from her kitchen window. If Miss Lydia remembered correctly Clarice was quite the track star in her days at Sinippi Cove High. In fact, Miss Lydia was certain the other woman had run all the way from the library where the fleet-of-foot Ms. Travers worked part-time. A frantic tapping increased in strength until it reached the level of a pounding knock before the octogenarian ambled to the back door. Miss Lydia could have arrived faster, but she liked to frustrate her younger neighbor.
As soon as she started to open her kitchen door, Clarice appeared body part by body part sliding in with the skill of a spelunker through the crevice in a cave. Her friend had a serious case of head-sweating as evidenced by her wet locks and the sodden collar of her dress. Miss Lydia handed her a dish towel which the librarian accepted with a nod mopping with unprecedented enthusiasm at her damp face and neck. It took her guest a few moments to slow her panting enough to speak.
“You will never guess what I just heard at the library,” Clarice crowed throwing the dish towel down on the counter for emphasis.
“No, I don’t suppose I will guess the news. Since I’m in my 80’s and my days are numbered why don’t you tell me, Clarice,” Miss Lydia stated with a wry tone. Unfortunately, her sarcasm was lost on her young friend.
“Well…” Clarice provided a long pause to build suspense (too bad it only built irritation), “You wouldn’t believe who walked into the library this morning.” Feeling another pause in the ready, Miss Lydia made a repetitive circular movement with her hand to get her friend to hurry up.
“Spit it out, Clarice,” Miss Lydia said, her words staccato and harsher than her usual clipped manner of speech.
“Enid Floss,” Clarice whispered the words. The whites of her eyes were clearly visible around her irises.
Miss Lydia opened her mouth slightly with shock for a fraction of a second before snapping it shut hard enough for her dentures to clack together. Miss Lydia never wanted to appear shocked in front of others.
“What did she want?” the older miss hissed like a snake as she uttered the pronoun representing her arch nemesis — the Jezebel of Sinippi Cove.
Trembling like a leaf in a hurricane, Clarice divulged the ultimate betrayal, “Enid Floss is entering the Magnolia County Bake-Off. And if that isn’t enough, she is planning on baking Snickerdoodles.”
Miss Lydia’s signature cookie. She gently tapped her closed lips with the index finger of her right hand as she ruminated on this debacle. Enid was her best friend until they reached the age of seventeen. Miss Lydia had met a nice, young man and had fallen in love. His name was Roy Floss. The rest of the story would have to wait. Let’s just say — although 69 years had passed — Miss Lydia never forgave Enid. Pushing Clarice out the door didn’t prove too difficult, she knew when it was time to leave Miss Lydia be.
It took all of three days and dozens upon dozens of batches of Snickerdoodles before Miss Lydia was satisfied she had the winning entry for the Magnolia County Bake-Off. The day of the big event Miss Lydia dressed in her best church clothes, submitted her entry, and walked past Enid Floss with a triumphant smile. Later, as Miss Lydia accepted the Blue Ribbon for her Caramel Chai Snickerdoodle cookies, she felt like a champion. (On a side note — Enid didn’t even receive an honorable mention for her Snickerdoodles.)
I typically enjoy my morning smoothie, but this morning’s addition of barium to it wasn’t my favorite ingredient. Give me spinach, carrots, and kale any day!